Passport Restaurant closes, new one moving in - Omaha.com
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DINING

Passport Restaurant closes, new one moving in
By Sarah Baker Hansen / World-Herald staff writer


Jay Siers walked past the Old Market’s Passport Restaurant many times and saw it empty.

“Completely and totally empty,” he said.

Now Passport is closed and he’s the new owner of the space on the busy corner of 11th and Jackson Streets, and he plans to change things.

“Our focus is going to be getting the bar and the patio rolling,” he said. “That’s something that corner really needs.”

Saturday was the Passport’s last day in business, and Siers takes over today.

J’s on Jackson, his third restaurant, will open there this summer — by July 16 if all goes well. He already runs J’s Steakhouse and Wine Bar outlets in downtown Fremont and Norfolk.

The restaurant’s Facebook page lists Christian Sullivan as its chef.

Siers declined to reveal the purchase price for the Passport space. He said he had been looking at the former French Cafe site but it didn’t suit his purposes. In the course of that, he heard the Passport location may be available.

Passport owner Mo Tajvar, who also operates Omaha Prime in the Old Market, did not return calls on Tuesday.

Siers said the dťcor of the new restaurant will be similar to his other locations. The interior will be completely remodeled, and Siers said the bar will be moved to the northeast side of the restaurant so diners can overlook the patio and the street.

The restaurant will accommodate about 40 diners outside, 75 in the main dining room and 65 at the new bar.

J’s on Jackson also will have two private dining rooms to accommodate 16 to 18 diners and a large banquet room that will seat 100.

The menu will be similar to the one at his other steakhouses: lunch and dinner entrees such as steak, seafood, sandwiches and salads priced from $7.99 to $31.99. Siers said the restaurant’s focus is on its steaks.

The bar will stay open late, and the wine list will include more than 200 selections.

“More than 125 of the wines on the list are under $60 a bottle,” Siers said.

He hopes the new restaurant will be a casual dining destination.

“You can have great food,” he said, “and you don’t have to put a suit on to have it.”

He said the Old Market appealed to him because J’s will fulfill a spot he thinks is missing on the restaurant scene.

“The Old Market is kind of niche-y,” he said. “There’s Italian, one steakhouse, Indian food, Persian food, spaghetti. But we’re the only one that can offer something for everyone.”

Contact the writer:
402-444-1069, sarah.bakerhansen@owh.com

Contact the writer: Sarah Baker Hansen

sarah.bakerhansen@owh.com    |   402-444-1069    |  

Sarah writes restaurant reviews and food stories for the World-Herald.

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